US STOCKS-Wall St to open higher after German-French pledge

Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:13am EDT

Related Topics

* German, French leaders promise plan to ease debt crisis

* European bank Dexia agrees to nationalization

* Futures up: Dow 126 pts, S&P 14.1 pts, Nasdaq 30.25 pts

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Oct 10 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Monday after a renewed pledge by France and Germany to come up with a plan to resolve the euro zone debt crisis by month's end lifted sentiment.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy promised Sunday to unveil a comprehensive new package to ease the euro zone's debt crisis by the end of October, but offered no details.

International pressure has been building for bold steps from Europe to avert a global economic backlash.

In a move that could pressure other euro zone governments to strengthen their banks, Franco-Belgian lender Dexia agreed to nationalize its Belgian banking division and secured state guarantees in a rescue.

"Internationally, you are looking at Dexia and the euro zone making progress towards a real sustainable solution," said Peter Kenny, managing director at Knight Capital in Jersey City, New Jersey.

"We can look at this as a positive this morning and certainly on the headline it looks like a positive driver for market sentiment this morning, but this is more of the same."

S&P 500 futures rose 14.1 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 126 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 30.25 points.

Investors eyed the 1,178 level on the S&P 500, representing the 50-day moving average as a resistance point. The index has not traded above that level since late July.

While U.S. stock markets will be open, government offices and the bond market are closed for the U.S. Columbus Day holiday and may result in lighter-than-usual equities volume.

Netflix Inc shares jumped nearly 10 percent to $128.60 in premarket trading after its chief executive reversed an unpopular decision to separate the company's DVD rental business and online video streaming service.

Superior Energy Services Inc agreed to buy Complete Production Services Inc in a deal that would create an entity that expands its footprint in oil-field services.

Complete Production jumped 49 percent to $30.35, and Superior Energy dropped 7.7 percent to $25.30 premarket.

Lawn and garden products maker Scotts Miracle-Gro Co trimmed its full-year outlook for the third time in four months as Hurricane Irene and harsh weather dampened purchases.

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